Fast MRI may effectively identify TBIs in children

West Virginia parents should know that young children with a suspected traumatic brain injury are very often diagnosed by means of a CT scan. However, such exposure to ionizing radiation can lead to problems in children, who are, after all, still growing and sensitive to radiation. One study, the results of which have been published in Pediatrics, has tested the effectiveness of fast MRIs as an alternative.

Fast MRIs are motion-tolerant MRI sequences that take five minutes or less to conduct (compared to the 30 to 60 minutes that regular MRIs take) and require no sedation. Starting with 299 potential study participants, all of them children under the age of 6, researchers managed to complete the fast MRI on 223 children. These children had had a CT scan performed on them beforehand.

The CT scans identified TBIs in 111 children whereas the fast MRIs identified them in 103 children, missing two with a subarachnoid hemorrhage and six with isolated skull fractures. Both picked up injuries like subdural hematomas, intracranial hemorrhage and parenchymal injuries. The tests were conducted at the emergency department of a Level 1 pediatric trauma center. Based on completion rate and imaging time, researchers determined that fast MRIs were feasible. It was found to be accurate in clinically stable children with a TBI concern.

A TBI can lead to brain damage, and depending on its cause, it can give rise to a personal injury claim. For instance, it may have been incurred in a car accident or a slip and fall on another's property. In such an instance, victims might want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for their losses.

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